Convicted Felon Is Sentenced To Prison For Illegally Possessing Firearms On Three Separate Occasions
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A federal jury in Charlotte has convicted Brandon Grunwaldt, 46, of Mint Hill, N.C., of sexual exploitation of a minor, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
Ronnie Martinez, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in North Carolina and South Carolina, and Chief Joseph Hatley of the Mint Hill Police Department join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.
According to filed court documents, trial evidence and witness testimony, between February 16 and October 31, 2020, Grunwaldt secretly recorded a minor on five different occasions while the minor was undressing and showering. A forensic analysis of electronic devices seized from Grunwaldt revealed that the defendant possessed five videos that depicted the minor using the shower and changing clothes. The jury convicted Grunwaldt of five counts of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.
Grunwaldt is currently in federal custody. A sentencing date has not been set. Each count of production of child pornography charge carries a minimum statutory sentence of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The charge of possession of child pornography carries a statutory penalty of no more than 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King commended HSI and the Mint Hill Police Department for their investigation of the case.
Assistant United States Attorneys Cortney Randall and Stephanie Spaugh, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, are prosecuting the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.